Here is a graph showing where I stand on vaccinations (we get them mostly on schedule), breastfeeding (I’ve done it all: pumped, nursed, fed formula, but breast is best), television time, moms who work, and attachment parenting (did I mention my three year old joins us often in the middle of the night?).
I love the idea of a graph such as this because I have always found it interesting that some of the same women who would have supported me as I nursed my son anywhere, any time, would also rail against me publicly for having my children vaccinated almost precisely according to the recommendations of the AAP. The moms who question the fact that my children watch two television shows a day might also love that I have found a way to work from home while raising a family.
The bottom line? No mother is perfect, and what is important is that we do our best to raise healthy and happy children into happy and healthy adults.
What does this have to do with It Gets Easier!…And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers by Claudine Wolk? Everything. Claudine noticed very early in her motherhood journey that there’s a lot of talk out there about the “right” way to parent, and not quite as much support. What moms really need is strategies to get through the day, advice when they ask for it (i.e. not from a stranger in line at the grocery store), and support always.
**giveaway to follow**
This is so difficult to do! Even though I agree with what I just wrote, I found myself reading this book, nodding in agreement, yet hearing that judgemental voice in my head saying, “But every woman should at least try to nurse,” or “Women who say they ‘need’ to work usually just want to work or to maintain a certain lifestyle.”
Author Claudine Wolk does something I have never seen a woman writing about parenting do before….she pushes all of that to the side. While she acknowledges that there are mommy wars and enough pushy advice from strangers to fill a room, she spends the majority of her book giving practical advice, come what may. And believe me, some of this advice will make some mothers’ hair stand on end:
“Mothers can be critical of one another. If you heat your baby’s bottle up in the microwave, make sure you shake it well, and make sure you don’t tell anyone you do it!”
This is the exact sort of passage that made me want to jump into the book and shake Claudine because “good moms” know that you heat bottles by floating them in a cup of hot water. Heating breast milk or formula in the microwave heats unevenly and baby could burn his or her mouth.
**hang in there, the giveaway is coming…**
But a smart mom knows that moms will do it anyway, so why not tell them to shake the bottle to redistribute the milk and save baby’s little mouth? This book should be handed out at the hospital along with that standard black diaper bag and the sitz bath. I wish that all moms knew little tidbits like the danger’s of microwaving formula, but since they don’t, why not give them what they really need…advice they can use? I applaud Claudine for her bravery in writing this book, and I also applaud any mother brave enough to tell the truth about parenting along with the best practices, because the bottom line is that sometimes the truth is much more resourceful.
This book is for you if…you are a new mom, you’ve got a new mom or mom-to-be friend and you’re looking for a gift, or you know a mom who is pulling her hair out trying to be perfect and could use a great book with a fantastic sense of humor and some real take-away advice.
This book is not for you if…you and yours are far beyond this stage of life and do not want to go back to the trenches, even in your mind. It is also not for you if you cannot or do not want to move beyond that uncomfortable feeling you get when issues such as those on the graph above are discussed. If you’re a mom who will knock a woman to the ground and pry the formula out of her hands, walk away now…
Giveaway! **you made it!** Three lucky readers will each win a copy of this book. To enter, simply tell me in a comment to this post either the best advice you received as a parent or the worst advice. Not a mom or dad? Then tell me your biggest question for experienced parents!
Bonus Entry: Subscribe to Resourceful Mommy and leave another comment.
This contest is open to all U.S. legal residents age 18 or older and ends Friday, October 30th at 11:59 p.m. EDT.